For a parent, there’s nothing scarier than sending a high school graduate out into the world—and in fact, the world looks pretty scary these days. Not to mention confusing, even in matters that used to be taken for granted. Up until about ten years ago, for instance, it was a given that high-school grads eyeing [...]
Chasing Jupiter, by Rachel Coker. Zondervan, 2012, 221 pages. Age/interest level: 12-up. Our story begins in small-town Georgia, 1969—but 16-year-old Scarlett’s world seems even smaller than the town. Since her rebellious older sister Juli is sneaking out at all hours, so much responsibility falls on Scarlett that there’s no time for friends or extra-curricular activities. [...]
The False Prince (2012) and The Runaway King (2013), by Jennifer A. Nielson. Scholastic, about 350 pages each. Age/interest level: 10-up. When we first encounter the orphan known as Sage, he’s running full-tilt with a cleaver-waving butcher at his back and a stolen beef roast clutched in his arms. It seemed like a good idea [...]
These three books have nothing in common except their general category and the fact that the first two won honors in the ALA Youth Media awards for nonfiction this year. The fact that both Titanic and Moonbird won in two age categories–middle-grade readers and young adults–makes me wonder if there’s not that much quality nonfiction [...]
It’s what every child has to do, and they accomplish it with varying degrees of success. In a sense, “growing up” is the theme of every children’s book, either obviously or not so much. The best of them show the main character or characters changing in some significant way, usually through conflict. What the character [...]
Since I first wrote about teen paranormal romance–the spark that became a blaze with the Twilight series and all its imitators–we’ve seen the entire Bella-Edward saga translated to film. Yesterday another big-screen treatment of human/inhuman love opened: Beautiful Creatures, based on a wildly popular YA series that somehow escaped my notice. I’ve tried to find [...]
In our posts over the last two weeks, Emily and I have suggested that Roe v. Wade has changed America profoundly in the ways we think about sex, gender, and parenting. But how about love? That’s a word that doesn’t often figure in the discussion of Life vs. Choice or Our Bodies, Ourselves. But the [...]
Now for something a little different, with Super Bowl weekend upon us. Sports novels for young readers often have the same virtues as sports themselves: an emphasis on team effort, fair play, self-discipline, and doing your best. Real-life sports don’t always measure up to that ideal of course, but there’s enough virtue in them to [...]
On Friday I wrote about the treatment of homosexuality in youth literature, a topic I’m not quite done with. We notice more novels that normalize homosexual behavior popping up on bookstore and library shelves, but there’s something about them that doesn’t get much comment. The quantity of titles doesn’t equal quantity of readers. There’s a [...]
“We will triumph with our tongues. We own our lips—who is our master?” Psalm 12:4 We live in an age where reality can be easily disconnected from imagination, where pharmaceutical or electronic aids provide a back door for escaping real life when it gets too tough. It’s an age full of words—spoken, written, texted—that can [...]
Got a novel idea? It’s easier than ever to get published, but if the imprint on the spine of your masterwork is Xlibris or iUniverse, don’t expect placement on the New York Times bestseller list. There are always exceptions, such as Christopher Paolini, a hardworking homeschooler who completed his first dragon novel (Eragon) at the [...]
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- Around the World in 60 Days: Summer Reading Challenge for Kids May 23, 2013
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